Abandon All Fear

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Archive for the ‘The Purpose Missing Church’ Category

[Churchianity] Get Angry

Posted by Lex Fear on October 24, 2009

Gary Ward quotes David Frost from 10 Ways Angry People Change The World:

“I read this article and thought it was a great answer to people who swerve biblical truth by calling you angry and all the other things used to remain in a place of unswerving arrogance…

…It’s angry people who change the world. Comfortable, satisfied, stuck-in-a-rut, trying-to-protect-my-turf people don’t change the world. They nurse the status quo, which I’ve heard is Latin for the mess we’re in.”

Posted in Churchianity, Quoteyness, The Purpose Missing Church, V for Vendetta | 3 Comments »

Why I Have Not Been Posting

Posted by Lex Fear on October 24, 2009

So, abandonallfear.co.uk is confined to the Internet archives, and there has not been a post on here for 6 months. Perhaps part of it is because I lost the passion for heated debates, playing devils advocate and a raft of other things. I let the .co.uk domain slide because my paranoid side wanted to avoid a future fight with any companies that would seek Abandon All Fear as a label – I just can’t be bothered to get into a war of ‘I was here first’. Secondly I don’t really care if people find this blog or not. Over the last year I’ve been reassessing what’s important to me, and aside from a record of what I think, and a record of a contrarian view out there amongst the hubris, I care not for the events and opinions of the current era.

But I feel I will be drawn out soon to comment on the state of Churchianity. You see, I’ve been trying to mainstream. After resolving personal difficulties with the church in general and coming back to God, in a sense, I’ve been attempting to bridge my controversial viewpoints and social commentary to a public real identity twitter feed. What that means is, or rather what I’ve discovered is, that the need I have to mock and rubbish the sacred cows of society is a core part of who I am I can’t get away from. But recently I’ve also discovered that it just won’t work, I’ve realised that there is a need to have a split online personality. Some friends and acquaintances are just not ready for either truth, or ideas that challenge their lives and careers.

There’s sometimes a need for anonymity, a prophet is not accepted in his hometown, and perhaps it’s because people are not ready to accept truth from those they have some kind of relationship with. It’s far easier to accept truth and wisdom from an anonymous source outside your social circle – perhaps because changing your mind over something need not necessarily be looked upon as an embarrassing turn around by people who are close and in the know. Perhaps it provides another voice with which to feel allegiance with, that you are not alone in your ‘extreme’ thoughts and can feel a bit more normal.

I guess there’s a need for Lex Fear, not because the world needs Lex Fear, it’s just me that needs him. A persona to vent about the things I see that drive me nuts. And if you agree with what Lex says, then that’s great, if you don’t then don’t worry, it’s nothing that in any way will affect how you live or who you mix with.

Posted in Anecdotes, Churchianity, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

[Pause for Thought] Stem Cells

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

Just so we’re clear, everyone knows that you can collect stem cells from a placenta. right?

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Posted in Duh!, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Comment Sharing] The Wrath of God

Posted by Lex Fear on November 13, 2008

Over at The County Shrink, a heartfelt response to a reluctant atheist:

Believe it or not, I at one time, was in a similar position. You have a
lot of questions about Christianity. So did I. And we are not alone.
All believers have doubts at times. In fact, I think doubt is a
necessary part of faith. It wouldn’t be called faith, if there was no
doubt.

Reluctant atheist Nick, left a further comment below the post:

I badly want to throw the towel in, and believe again. but i can’t accept the unmerciful side of God.

I didn’t want to risk an online debate particularly because it’s my first comment at TCS but I felt compelled to make a respond with the following (now I just wish I could find the motivation to write my own blog posts):

For me, doubt has been an essential component of my faith. It has been doubt that has steered me to believe.

Each time I question the bible, God, events or my experience, I find simple reasons to walk away from it all.. which is a problem for me, it’s too simple. Christianity is complex and causes a serious enquirer such as myself to think. On the other hand, as an atheist (11 years ago) I never really had much to consider.

There are places in the bible where God intervenes which makes him appear unmerciful, angry even. Once again this indicates that God is a rational being, not just a one-dimensional character-piece in a made up religion.

Nick, I can see you are wrestling with some deep-seated theological questions. May I suggest you read CS Lewis – The Problem of Pain. Also I find the bible itself lends a hand when it comes to understanding Gods mercy – Romans 9:22.

In the UK here we have just had a horrific case of child abuse that has hit the headlines. If we accept that God can see the future and destinies of all people, would it be fair for God to intervene before the abuse happened (eg. prevented the child from being born in order to spare it). For God to then strike down the adults involved before the child was born, punish them before society was even aware of their evil nature?

Perhaps, and we can’t say for certain whether this is already happening since we only have the benefit of hindsight and not the ability to predict destinies.

However, the very existence of evil in this world is an indication of Gods patience and mercy. If one examines the old testament, one sees that when God planned to wipe out a city or a tribe, he always revealed his plans to his prophets first, or he would make his people agents in the destruction. Since God is God, and can destroy as easily as bring to life, why would he approach his people beforehand, or even request they carry out these actions?

Perhaps it is easier to frame it in terms of modern law. Say I was caught speeding, but when I was pulled over the officer can see I have my pregnant wife in the car who is in labour and needs to get to the hospital. What police officer will hold me up, read out my rights and issue me with a ticket whilst my wifes contractions get shorter and shorter in the seat next to me.

I have broken traffic law by speeding, for sure, but any reasonable police officer is going to make a decision to allow the law-break in this instance. Even if some jobsworth officer still decides to issue a ticket.. it’s likely a judge would cancel it on appeal – despite the law, as set by government, being broken.

Laws make society work, but they are never meant to be nor should be used to totalitarian effect. A government that becomes totalitarian in application of its laws will lose the support of its people and risk uprising or rebellion.

In the same way, God made laws for his people, and offered them the choice to live by them or not. When they chose to live by them, and signed the contract, then the law had to be obeyed. But God, rather than simply enforce the law with impunity, instead entrusted the enforcement to his people, continually involving them in his plans to carry out the actions and punishment related to the laws being broken.

So again we must ask, why would God approach prophets before carrying out punishment; Why does the government employ judges to effect it’s laws (considering where the concept of ‘judges’ was taken from)?

My belief is this: God was not looking for people to carry out his wrath, he was looking for intercessors, perhaps even people to debate with him and refuse to carry out said wrath.

How would we know mercy, if there were no laws, no righteousness or ultimate authority to ensure they were carried out.

And how would God reveal his mercy without giving power to judge and carry out punishment, to his creation?

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Posted in Apologetics, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, The Purpose Missing Church | Leave a Comment »

[Acts of God] Hearts and Minds

Posted by Lex Fear on September 25, 2008

Two pieces of good news today which gives me pause for thought… Filesharer Jammie Thomas has been granted a retrial by the judge who sentenced her last year.

“Minnesota Federal beak Michael Davis said he had given an incorrect instruction to the jury on the level of proof required by the Recording Industry Ass. of America. He had told jurors last year that the act of “making [music files] available” via a peer to peer network was sufficient to prove unauthorised distribution of copyright material without evidence that others had downloaded the files.”

<snip>

Although he wasn’t considering the fine levied against Thomas in the original trial, in his judgment Davis said Congress should re-examine the law on copyright infringement, calling it “wholly disproportionate”. “Her alleged acts were illegal, but common. Her status as a consumer who was not seeking to harm her competitors or make a profit does not excuse her behavior. But it does make the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages unprecedented and oppressive,” he wrote.” – RIAA filesharing target Jammie Thomas wins retrial – El Reg

The second bit of good news, however it comes with a twist, is the European Parliament have wisely thrown out the “Three-Strikes” law when it comes to copyright infringement.

“The amendment, drafted by Guy Bono and other members of the European Parliament, was adopted by an overwhelming majority. 573 parliament members voted in favor while only 74 rejected. Satisfied with this outcome, Bono stated in a response to the vote: “You do not play with individual freedoms like that,” and said that the French government should review its three-strikes law.” – European Parliament Says No to Three-Strikes Law – TorrentFreak

Could this be a possible turning point in history, are our leaders finally coming round to the 21st Century and understanding of technology and innovation?

I’ve always believed in a God that is involved with life on earth in both a grand and intimate scale. I don’t believe God sends earthquakes and tornadoes in order to bring punishment to any region, I don’t believe he speaks and commands suicide bombers or terrorists to fly into buildings, but I do believe he is intimately involved in human affairs to bring about creativity and invention, justice and mercy.

I believe in a creative God, a God who fashioned humans in his image – that means we got his characteristic creativity as well. It is on display everywhere we look; invention, design, industry and the arts. Creation is in us and is a part of our human identity. I also believe, in a broader sense, that Jesus was and is a file sharer.

Jesus’ primary goal was to get the good news out. He didn’t care much for any authority that stood in the way, and he certainly didn’t issue copyright disclaimers on his stories or words. If he had, we might never had heard of the carpenter from Galilee. If Jesus was physically walking the earth today, I believe that he would be utilizing p2p networks to share all sorts of Christian media – words, songs and movies. The RIAA would probably play the part of the Romans (on behalf of copyright owners such as Hillsong) and do their bit to crucify him for this, of course.

The point is, BitTorrent is a creative invention. It is a great invention for spreading information more quickly and efficiently than any other source on the tubes. I believe God has had a hand in human invention from the beginning, gifting us with ideas and intellect, and I believe he has his hand in technology even today.

They burned the first man to translate the Bible into English in an attempt to supress the free sharing of this valuable information with the common people. How quickly they forgot that sharing of information and communion is at the core of the Christian message, and how lost are we now that the church employs the very same techniques as the world to ‘protect’ it’s ‘intellectual property’? The church has forgotten the words of the psalmist in Psalm 24:1.

So although many on both sides may disagree with me for different reasons, I believe that God has had his hand on proceedings in both of these cases today. I believe God wants us to have an open and free society more than anyone can realise or imagine. He doesn’t have to place the literal ideas in our head, or force our hands to work, he has already created the desire, the passion and the spirit, this is all that is needed for justice and creativity to prevail.

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Posted in Apologetics, Copywrong, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Opinion, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church | 1 Comment »

[Christiania] Church Mafia

Posted by Lex Fear on September 6, 2008

Excellent article over at Stuff Christians Like about the church mafia:

The Elderati
Background:
Although they would never admit this, the Elderati is the strongest of the ruling families. Their influence is not often direct and visible, but is instead quietly woven into almost every decision the church makes. Once you make it into the Elderati, you can never really leave. For although your official “term” might end after a year or two, you will constantly be called into conversations and decisions long after you actually attend an Elder’s meeting. It’s rumored that they all have a small letter “E” tattooed on their ankle. But since members of the Elderati never wear shorts, it’s impossible to prove.
Also known as: “The only people the pastor fears.”
Nemesis: The Deaconistas
Signature sentence: “Have you cleared that with the Elders?”

Anyone who’s ever been heavily involved in or shunted from a church ministry at one time should find something to laugh at, and something to think about from this.

I’ve touched on the subject before in the past, in a blog post entitled Successful Christian Leadership. Back then I came from a more personal, more bitter angle but the great thing about SCL is it can teach us really to laugh at those wooden idols that the church sets up for itself.

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Posted in Apologetics, Dark Side of the Light, Pharisees, The Purpose Missing Church | Leave a Comment »

Jesus Is The Reason For The… FAIL?

Posted by Lex Fear on August 31, 2008

From Failblog.

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Posted in Apologetics, Ha-has, Quoteyness, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church | Leave a Comment »

[Religious Paradigm] Religious Guilt, Shame and Fear… Why It’s A Good Thing

Posted by Lex Fear on June 14, 2008

I suspect that when anti-theists (particularly those who have left religion) list guilt, shame and fear as reasons not to believe in God, they are really referring to self-doubt, confusion and uncertainty that everyone experiences either during their teens, during difficult times or at other times during their lives – especially when they begin to look inside themselves and question their own set of pre-held beliefs, prejudices and bias*.

Taking an example from Steve Pavlina (see my previous post). He asks people to abandon guilt and fear and move towards an ambiguous spirituality of your own. Let’s apply this message to a pedophile Priest (also mentioned in his rant). I would imagine and hope that a pedophile Priest (or indeed anyone, believer or not) would be feeling guilt whilst appearing on the exterior to be a person of righteousness. I would hope they are feeling tremendous guilt.

Guilt is the only way that God can work, through the Holy Spirit to bring an end to the perversion. Of course God could act through others, even the authorities – but how would someone defend their vigilantism, or bring a conviction based on the evidence “God told me he was a pedophile”? What happens when the authorities are implicit in covering up the act? Then perhaps God could stop the man and those involved himself, but this is not usually how God chooses to intervene in human affairs – for many good reasons – but that is another subject that has already been addressed many times elsewhere.

What of shame? Shame is usually the result of having your dark secrets exposed to the limelight. Suppose a thief is caught after breaking into the house of an old woman, beating her and stealing her savings. Should he not feel some shame along with accepting his punishment? What about an act which is not classed as a crime? Should a married who is caught having an affair at the office not feel some shame for his disregard towards his wife and children? Shame is a part of remorse and regret. It’s necessary to make the first steps of reconciliation towards the person or persons you have hurt. How else would we have gotten the phrase “Have you no shame?!”

Fear of God is something that is widely misunderstood. Once again, it is not some sort of control mechanism that the church uses to maintain the allegiance of it’s subjects. Consider the criminal in my example above. He has been caught and sent to jail, but this does not necessarily mean he agrees with the justice system, or that he even thinks he has done anything wrong. Suppose there is a fault in the prosecutions case and he gets away scot free, or his sentence is particularly lenient and it is not felt by the public to be long enough. He walks out of the court/jail and raises his hands, smiling in celebration and defiance. The national newspapers have a field day! There would be calls for criminal reform, columnists climbing over each other to condemn the thief, the judge, the justice system and bemoan the tragedy of it all. Why?

The thief, you see, is not just lacking in shame, he’s lacking in fear.

If a person truly believed in God, believed that he could be angered by injustice and believed that there was such a thing as a Lord of the Earth who will come to judge the quick and the dead. That there is such a thing as Hell (which is simply a place God is not). Would they commit crimes such as the one I speak of above? Would they celebrate being let off by human courts in the full knowledge they had gotten away with an evil act, in the knowledge that there was a heavenly court to come, with a judge who sees all and knows all?

Consider the dictators throughout history and the dictators who are alive now- the leaders of Zimbabwe, the Chinese Government, The Burmese Government and so on. It is irrelevant whether they atheists or not. These people have no fear of humans – no-one is rising up and no-one is attacking them – and obviously they have no fear of God. They are the highest authority of their country, they know this and in some cases they consider themselves to be equal to God**.

If you do not personally believe in God, then it is useless to blame God or religion for their atrocities since they are the highest authority and therefore the non-existent God is not responsible, you may as well blame a pink unicorn or teapot or something. However, if you do believe in God, then you should have a hope that one day there will be a reckoning, and that people like the Chinese troops in this video below, will, in fact, one day come face to face with the Alpha and Omega, ready to settle the score.

When I see things like this, I have to believe there is an angry God watching:

A fear of God is healthy – not for you, rather, for those around you and for those who you lead or serve. Incidentally this is also why we are told to let God have vengeance, rather than take it into our own hands (yes that means the idiots who kill abortion doctors will also face the wrath of God someday too).

We are also told that God is patiently waiting for all to repent and when they do they can put fear to rest, but this is again, a subject for another day.

*NB: I’m not referring to people have been physically or psychologically abused.
** Incidentally this ties in well with original sin and the curse of death. Natural death is a necessary tool in assuring that no human being, no matter how evil, lives forever and escapes injustice. It also benefits those ruled by evil dictators. If no-one does rise up or challenge them, at least we can take comfort in the fact they will eventually grow old and die. No-one can escape natural death (except, perhaps, the very few righteous friends of God)

Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Morals & Ethics, The Purpose Missing Church, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | 3 Comments »

[Atheism] How To Destroy Christianity

Posted by Lex Fear on April 12, 2008

I’m pretty fed up of the same circular arguments and debates going round and round the tubes. Based on logical fallacies, false premises and rabid hate.

So listen closely I’m about to reveal the truth that Christians don’t want you to know. It’s hidden in their own book, the bible, and all you need to do is point out the evidence, one simple line, and you will end their faith. You will completely decimate it.

There is no need to mention Occam’s Razor, the 3rd law of thermodynamics, the Jesus Seminar, logic and reason, counter-arguments, semantics, OT eschatology, Witty Diatribes, Pseudoscience, the Da Vinci code, the FSM or the celestial teapot.

It was written long ago by one of the founders of Christianity, hidden in plain sight, the means to bring Christianity and belief in Jesus crashing to the ground. Simply prove this and even the most God-fearing, bible-bashing fundie will be stumped.

Here is the verse, from 1 Corinthians 15:13-16 of the New Testament, written by Paul:

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;”

It’s that simple. If there is no resurrection of the dead, no resurrection of Jesus Christ, then their words are false and faith is futile.

If you want to rid the world of Christianity, all you have to do is prove that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. Should be an easy task, right?

Watch the faith drain from their eyes and their expression fill with doubt… go get ’em tiger!

Posted in Apologetics, Laymans Theology, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | 24 Comments »

[Context] That Rev. Wright Sermon In Full

Posted by Lex Fear on April 7, 2008

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that the main religion in America is not Christianity… it’s Patriotism. Christianity is fair game along with every other belief, but to appear not to be a Patriot is not only a sin, it’s an act of terrorism itself.

In the age of the internets, the Salem Witch trials are replaced by cleverly cut and edited video and images by the media.

I wonder how many of those, swift to condemn Rev Wright in the past couple of months could disagree with this one in context. I didn’t hear him mention homosexuals, abortionists or feminists once during his tirade. But he did commit the cardinal sin of criticising American foreign policy – which is the Holy Grail of Patriotism.

The only exceptions I can find of those who are free to criticise American foreign policy and have not only their words treated in context, but to have their Patriotism unquestioned are the military. So perhaps Wright should really leave it to ex-servicemen and military-men to speak out on American foreign policy and not try to win too many hearts or minds in the near future.

Posted in Opinion, Pharisees, Realpolitik, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, V for Vendetta | Leave a Comment »